It’s no secret that gathering groups of people together can be a difficult task. That is even truer when that group includes multiple busy health care professionals. However, the South East Regional Cancer Program (SERCP) out of the Cancer Centre of Southeastern Ontario has figured out the formula to make this happen and as a result was recently recognized as the top performing regional cancer program in Ontario for multidisciplinary cancer conferences.
Multidisciplinary cancer conferences (MCC’s) are regularly scheduled meetings where health care providers from different disciplines review and discuss the treatment plans in place for individual cancer patients and provide their recommendations. This means that patients are getting their treatment plan reviewed and assessed by specialists from across the health care field.
“Receiving this recognition from Cancer Care Ontario is a testament to the commitment of all involved, including our MCC coordinator, MCC chairs, physicians, learners and staff,” says Jessica Bonney, interim manager of the SERCP. “The patient is at the centre of these meetings and MCC’s exemplify patient-centred care coordination.”
Although a treating physician and patient have the ultimate responsibility for the patient’s treatment plan, the MCC ensures that all of the appropriate diagnostic tests and treatment options are considered and that the most suitable treatment recommendations are made for each patient.
In fact, having these opportunities for multidisciplinary review are so helpful that evidence suggests that patients whose cases are reviewed at MCC are more likely to receive evidence-based care and have all treatment options considered. One of the ways that the regional cancer program was able to make this a success was by leveraging technology to help connect care teams.
“The southeastern Ontario region is quite large and a patient’s cancer care team may include care providers from across regional sites” says Bonney. “To optimize the participation of all relevant care providers in our region, we have been able to leverage video conferencing technology to help the MCC team meet without the requirement of travel.”
MCC’s are held to help meet the vision of Cancer Care Ontario that all Ontario cancer patients should have access to a high quality multidisciplinary case review. The SERCP is being recognized for having 100 per cent adherence to the provincial MCC Standards.
“Our partners at the regional cancer programs across the province play a critical role in ensuring the delivery of high-quality cancer care in their local communities,” says Garth Matheson, Vice-President, Planning and Regional Programs at Cancer Care Ontario. “We are pleased to recognize the outstanding achievements of our partners as we continue to work together to improve Ontario’s cancer system.”
Cancer Care Ontario assesses regional cancer programs using both regional and facility-level data to monitor progress towards 14 performance indicators and recognize top performers. These indicators encompass topics such as symptom screening, smoking cessation, wait times, and cancer screening rates, along with other high-priority quality and access metrics.